Brock And Salk Day

Dave · September 24, 2010 at 8:10 am · Filed Under Mariners 

I’ll be doing my radio spot with Brock and Salk at 11:30 today on ESPN 710.

Also, my latest post is now up at their blog, and deals with whether Felix Hernandez is on the verge of passing Randy Johnson as the best pitcher in franchise history.


14 Responses to “Brock And Salk Day”

  1. heyoka on September 24th, 2010 8:42 am

    RJ’s peak of 7.8 WAR towers over Felix’s peak of 5.8.

    It’s a bit too early to call it the “verge”.

  2. Dave on September 24th, 2010 9:06 am

    B-R’s WAR vastly underrated Felix, because it handles Safeco’s park factors incorrectly.

  3. heyoka on September 24th, 2010 9:38 am

    Okie dokie then,
    Via Fangraph’s WAR:

    Randy Johnson’s peak of 9.5 still towers over Felix’s 6.9. RJ also has two other seasons that rate over Felix’s peak (thus far).

    At this point it’s almost equivalent to saying Fernando Valenzuela is the Dodger’s best pitcher over Sandy Koufax.

    And don’t misinterpret that, I do believe Felix has the potential to go well beyond Valenzuela and even Randy as an M, but not yet “on the verge”.
    If the next two seasons for Felix are 6+, then he’s got a much stronger case.

  4. robbbbbb on September 24th, 2010 9:57 am

    Felix is five years younger than RJ was when he was started putting up “ace” years. That’s significant.

  5. dw on September 24th, 2010 10:27 am

    Randy Johnson pitched at USC, but it’s still valid to mention that when he was 24, he was 8-7, 3.26 ERA, and 72/111 BB/SO ratio.

    For AAA Indianapolis.

    Felix would, in theory, still be a year or two from starting his “peak years.” Hopefully 2010 for Felix isn’t 1995 for Johnson — an exceptional year that ultimately led to DL time the following year due to overwork.

  6. GoldenGutz on September 24th, 2010 11:39 am

    Dave I have a question that I’d thought you be able to answer. Felix has more IP, a higher K/9 lower BB/9 and .06 difference in HR/9 and has a lower FIP and xFIP yet is still .8 WAR away from his 2009 total. Is there a reason for this? I mean he has clearly put up better stats this year and yet he isn’t even close to his 2009 WAR. do these drastically increase at the end of the year or what? If you look at his stats he has pitched better yet is like 2 CG 12 K’s each away from surpassing his 2009 total.

  7. dnc on September 24th, 2010 11:51 am

    My best guess is that the run environment across baseball is significantly harsher this year, making the replacement level threshold higher for a pitcher, suppressing WAR for otherwise similar numbers.

  8. Alec on September 24th, 2010 12:49 pm

    @GoldenGutz I just reread Dave’s primer on calculating pitcher win values, and it took me a while to come up with an answer to you too, and I may be wrong, since I didn’t actually look up the relevant numbers and run them to check. At first glance, you are right, he has put up better numbers this year. In reading the primer, however, we are have to adjust for certain things. For one, replacement level one year could be higher than in another. Much has been made about the Year of the Pitcher (I know, Dave refuted this in his WSJ column, but nevertheless, offense is down, which regardless increases the value of a replacement level pitcher, witness Fister, Pauley, French, Vargas, or essentially the whole M’s staff besides the polar opposite cases of Felix and RRS). So maybe the replacement level has increased. Also, park effects have to be considered, and I think for WAR they are adjusted to the years run environment. I know that park effects have some problems with handedness, especially Safeco with Felix, but I think Fangraphs tries to minimize that. Also, the run environments Felix pitched his road games in may have been lower. Maybe he got more starts in Petco this year, plus the Twins new stadium seems to be pretty pitcher friendly.

    Anyway, hopefully Dave (or someone else who is smarter/more motivated to verify this) than me swings by to back me up or remind me why Dave gets paid to write this and I just read it usually. Hope that helps, and if you are interested, this is where I got his primer (he uses Felix’s 2008 as an example, so if you want you can just look up the relevant 2009/2010 stuff and replace them in his calculations and see what happens).

  9. hoser on September 24th, 2010 1:14 pm

    Following Felix’s Cy Young candidacy is one of my few consolations this year. The argument I saw in the piece on Brock and Salk relies heavily on WAR.
    I’ve been following the arguments that claim that Felix had a good outing last night even though he lost. Some claim last night was an indictment of pitcher wins. What does it say about pitcher WAR?

    fWAR 9/22 6.1
    fWAR 9/24 6.1

    As I understand Fangraphs WAR, Felix was a replacement level pitcher yesterday. This doesn’t seem right to me.

    I’ve read some articles and I guess that 1 HR, 4 BB and 5 SO raises his FIP enough that it washes out the 8 more innings he pitched.

    I don’t get it. I think Felix gave the Mariners value with his outing last night. What am I missing?

  10. Mid80sRighty on September 24th, 2010 1:27 pm

    Nearly half of Felix’s career WAR total has come in the last two years

    I think this is one of the most significant parts of Dave’s article. When you break the totals into averages, yes, Felix looks like he’s at least as good as RJ. But, when you consider Felix has done his best work just the past 2 years…well, I’d say he’d have to do it for a couple more years to truly be in the conversation. But, this whole comparison is a really interesting thought. Lots of good numbers pointing in either direction. Thanks for the aritcle, Dave. I can see lots of good bar discussion coming out of this. 🙂

    Personally, I think if Felix doesn’t get hurt, in a few more years this won’t even be a debate.

  11. greentunic on September 24th, 2010 2:12 pm

    We have a long ways to go. But fortunately, so does Felix have a long time to keep going. Just too early. Too many young pitchers fizzle out after dominant starts to their careers.

    I’m wondering if Lincecum’s future is less bright than predicted now, and how Kazmir went from shutdown to knocked-down. Grienke is less awesome than I would have expected him to be at this point. I just hope Felix stays as he is…

  12. Westside guy on September 24th, 2010 2:16 pm

    All I can say is – I feel privileged to have seen them both pitch.

    And I will always remember RJ coming in to pitch relief in game five – on one days rest.

  13. Patton on September 24th, 2010 3:15 pm

    Hoser, fangraphs doesn’t update the WAR every day, it gets updated as a bunch of other data comes in. I think it updates closer to weekly.

  14. Alec on September 24th, 2010 6:25 pm

    @GoldenGutz: Went back and ran the numbers, what I saw was that his FIP advantage over the league average runs per game is higher last year than this year. Slightly more R/game were scored last year, and the difference in Felix’s rate stats isn’t quite as large of a difference. Also, Fangraphs uses 5-year regressed park factors, so they change slightly every year, and this year in particular, Safeco’s run environment is down, so he might be getting regressed a little for that (I know Safeco doesn’t really play as well to RHP, but Felix has given up less runs in about the same innings there, while last year his numbers on the road were INSANE while at home they were just really awesome, so regressing him a little more seems reasonable to me.

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